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APR
Fred Barbash at Reuters cuts through the noise:
President Barack Obama learned on Monday what can happen to presidents caught up in allegations of scandal: they have to address them instead of anything else. [...] A week ago, Obama was confronting a single investigative proceeding on Capitol Hill on the subject of the deadly attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

It was attracting relatively little public attention outside conservative circles, and he could dismiss as partisan because only Republicans were pushing it.

On Monday he confronted the prospect of multiple probes, with those into the IRS backed by Obama's Democratic allies in Congress as Democrats moved quickly to show they were as concerned as Republicans about alleged IRS abuses.

On top of that, the AP is assessing options for legal action in response to the government's actions, said David Schulz, an attorney representing the AP.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank:
Outrage is appropriate [on the IRS revelations], but Obama’s response did him little good because it failed to get him out in front of the scandal. Rather than taking quick action — firing those involved or opening an investigation with more teeth than the inspector general’s — he has left himself at the mercy of events, and will be called to respond as details dribble out.

This was exactly his problem with Benghazi. Obama correctly said in response to Pace’s multi-headed question that the squabble over the talking points is a “sideshow.” But his administration wrote the script for this sideshow by not getting the details out quickly.

More analysis of the week's top stories below the fold.

Brian Dickerson at The Detroit Free Press:

The danger is that justifiable outrage over the IRS’s tactics will jeopardize its legitimate mission to weed out partisan campaign organizations attempting to fob themselves off as tax-exempt educational nonprofits. The number of organizations seeking tax-exempt status has doubled since 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court authorized foundations chartered by corporations and labor unions to register for tax-exempt status so long as promoting or targeting electoral candidates was not their “primary purpose.”

It’s undisputed that a significant number of groups organized in the name of “tax fairness” or “defending the Second Amendment” have put their tax-exempt status in jeopardy by campaigning energetically for conservative candidates in Republican primary elections. Besides avoiding taxes, masquerading as a tax-exempt 501(c)4 organization such organizations to conceal the identity of donors seeking to promote candidates anonymously.

The Washington Post editorial board tackles the IRS issue:
Any unequal application of the law based on ideological viewpoint is unpardonable — toxic to the legitimacy of the government’s vast law-enforcement authority [...]
David Horsey at The Baltimore Sun looks at the Benghazi hysteria on the right:
The latest round of House hearings about the Benghazi incident provides a perfect example of how American politics has been warped and gummed up by bombastic, partisan extremism. A cool, methodical inquiry could well uncover serious mistakes and provide remedies so that future incidents can be thwarted before more American diplomats are killed in the line of duty. But the current generation of Republican lawmakers does not know how to do cool. Hot rhetoric more suited to a Glenn Beck tirade seems to be the only way they know how to communicate. [...]

It is a fever dream for Republicans to think they can bring down President Obama with this pipsqueak of a scandal. Possibly, though, they could do some harm to former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the strongest Democratic prospect for the 2016 presidential election. A smartly targeted investigation might do that.

More likely, though, Republicans will continue to overreach and come off looking like hyper-partisan, blustering witch hunters.

Frank Bruni on "our ceaseless circus":
Four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya: people with unrealized hopes, unfinished plans, relatives who loved them and friends who will miss them.
But let’s focus on what really matters about the attack and its aftermath. Did Hillary Clinton’s presumed 2016 presidential campaign take a hit? [...] Now we have a scandal at the Internal Revenue Service to factor in. And a scandal it is, in urgent need of a thorough investigation, which President Obama pledged at his news conference on Monday and which we’re very much owed.

But before we get a full account, let’s by all means pivot to the possible political fallout, politics being all that seems to matter these days.  [...]

It never gets better and may in fact be getting worse: the translation of all of the news and of all of Washington’s responses into a ledger of electoral pluses and minuses, a graph of rising and falling political fortunes, a narrative of competition between not just the parties but the would-be potentates within a party. On issue after issue, the sideshow swallows the substance, as politicians and the seemingly infinite ranks of political handlers join us journalists in gaming everything out, ad infinitum.

Finally, Jonathan Bernstein's piece puts it all in perspective:
Want a real Washington scandal — one worse than the (phony) Benghazi scandal and the (apparently real, but apparently limited) IRS scandals combined? Try the continuing, and possibly accelerating, obstruction of executive branch nominees by Senate Republicans.

Don’t think it’s a scandal? It’s pretty basic: Republicans, by abusing their Constitutional powers, are — deliberately, in several cases — preventing the government from carrying out duly passed laws. [...] Yes, I know that in the way Washington works, this kind of routine disruption of normal government procedures doesn’t qualify as a Scandal! But it should. And while it’s quite proper for those concerned about good government to be outraged by the IRS story, this one is a much bigger deal, and the facts of it are plain for all to see — in fact, the people responsible are openly bragging about what they’re doing.

Now that’s a scandal.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The president (18+ / 0-)

    is playing defense all the time and that's never a good political position.  The right is incredibly good at attacking and diverting, facts matter not, and I'm not sure what skill set is best to address it, or what approach.

    However, I do know we're dying out here, figuratively and literally, from lack of effective and just economic policies, and the center can't hold.  

    What can we do to make this clear?  We need to have mass actions, I think - what else has ever worked?  Nixon claimed to be unconcerned about the war protests but that was far from true.  

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Tue May 14, 2013 at 04:48:21 AM PDT

    •  Where are the Republicans? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      After the AP "scandal" broke, I was sure they would be out in full force on the networks this morning, or at least issuing statements.  But I have only seen Issa on CNN but he was really scheduled to talk about Benghazi.

      Could it be that the "leaker" in the AP story is a republican?

      My theory is that the White House was saying at that time that there were no credible plots around the time of the Bin Laden kill anniversary date.  But the leak exposed that as a lie.  Who would benefit from exposing the White House as liars?  Certainly not Democrats.

      Yes, the DOJ cast a wide net.  But don't you need a wide net if you are going after a BIG FISH?

      In any event, the GOP should be out today over-hyping the AP story like they do everything else.  Very curious...

      •  AP is a real scandal, and it reflects real (0+ / 0-)

        administration policy.  It's not a fluke.  It's obviously of a piece with all the whistleblowers and leakers the administration has been going after ever since Obama took office.

        Not all of those whistleblowers are Republicans.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:08:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The President is supposed to fire people before we (22+ / 0-)

    figure out exactly what happened and why?

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Tue May 14, 2013 at 04:49:04 AM PDT

  •  Well, a couple of things. (23+ / 0-)

    First off, any story on the IRS mishugas should include the (very inconvenient for the hysterics) fact that those applications which were improperly flagged did, in the end, get approved. I think I have heard one story that mentions this. NPR had the opportunity to include that just now, and did not.

    So, we have an opportunity to look at this, as Horsey points out about Benghazi. We have an opportunity to look and see if we need some kind of revision in law and regulation here (because what happened is not acceptable) and an even bigger opportunity to talk about Citizens United.

    It's the same thing with the press phone records scandal (now THERE's a scandal)--we have the opportunity to look and see what is facilitating this overreaching. That means we have the opportunity to talk about the PATRIOT act. Again, Horsey's "cool, methodical inquiry".

    Of course, when we are presented with an opportunity for "good government" reform, it gets squandered in partisanship. Which is why this is an even bigger opportunity for Congressional Democrats, to frame this in those kind of terms especially in the House, where the minority party CAN, if it chooses, have some success in framing debate (the GOP is great at that when it's in the minority).

    These "scandals" are real, but they are not about what the GOP thinks they're about, and certainly Benghazi is not about what Issa thinks it's about.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Tue May 14, 2013 at 04:58:06 AM PDT

    •  How true! (7+ / 0-)

      "an even bigger opportunity to talk about Citizens United"

      After all,  this increase in applications was a direct result.

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:13:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OH, indeed. Actually, this is an enormous (6+ / 0-)

        opening to talk seriously about corporations as people and the real effects of that on the political (and revenue) process, we have the opportunity to talk about our commitment to endless war military intervention in international affairs (Benghazi) and the opportunity to talk about it maybe being time to revise the PATRIOT act in order to prevent further abuse. None of that is going to happen.

        Of course the elephant in the room (there are several, of course) is really the Administration's commitment to punishing whistleblowers (that's at the heart of the phone records scandal) and plugging leaks by taking draconian measures. If the Republicans want to create a real scandal, they should look over there.

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:19:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They did mention that in the story on Marketplace (7+ / 0-)

      last night.  They talked about the whole thing in the most matter-of-fact way, and folded it in with Citizens United., said most of the 401c3 organizations set up in recent years has exploded, said they were mostly political and, in the end, said all but a few applications were approved.  

      "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

      by SottoVoce on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:35:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If they sent NPR staff (6+ / 0-)

      to cover a bull fight, there'd only be a 40% chance that the subsequent coverage would mention the bull.  

      Strongly agree on Benghazi generally and Issa especially.  

      •  IMO NPR falls somewhere between (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Remediator

        Fox News and CNN in their veracity.

        "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

        by gritsngumbo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:16:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Too bad Obama and the Congressional Dems (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, commonmass

      continually miss such opportunities.  But then that would mean they'd have to actually fight with Repubs and fight for media attention for their side of the story, but we can't have that.

      There is nobody to blame for the lack of media attention that you speak of than Obama and the other Dems who have to be the most passive group in politics today.  The saddest part is they actually have the truth on their side and still no outrage on their part.  No guts, no glory.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:24:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Part of it's that, and part of it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        accumbens

        is the inherent laziness of the Beltway narrative: don't forget, if it doesn't follow the narrative, it gets left out. The media write fiction first (the narrative) before they report fact.

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:25:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but they tend to write the Repubs fiction. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          Why is that?  Because the Repubs are the most vocal and the best at framing their issues.  Squeaky wheel and all that.  Obama and the Dems are quiet and polite as church mice.  It's pathetic.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:30:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Another question I have about the IRS story, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueEyed In NC

      Were there no liberal organization's applications scrutinized during that period?  And also, when seeking possibly fraudulent applications for a tax exempt status that specifically rests on restrictions of political/campaign activity, does it not make sense to specifically look at applications from groups that specify politics in their very name?  Doesn't it make actual sense that if your job is to catch or prevent tax cheats, that you should look at groups that publicly declare their opposition to taxes?

  •  whitewater (20+ / 0-)

    same shit, same playbook. Let's see, two Dem presidents in 30 years and the Reps do everything they can to filibuster in the Senate, break his policies, and tar him with accusations.  And the press abets them.  The last one ended with them impeaching Bill C for a blowjob.

    I just hate these people.

    •  Please get your facts straight (0+ / 0-)

      Clinton was not impeached for getting a blowjob. He was impeached for lying about getting a blow job. It's always the coverup.

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:29:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I feel like I shouldn't be concerned, but I am (12+ / 0-)

    I don't see either of these as actual scandals. Benghazi is nothing but a witch hunt aimed at embarrassing the President and hurting Hillary Clinton. The IRS issue is something to be looked into and corrected, but does not appear to be politically motivated.

    That said - where I live (Georgia), all I hear my coworkers talking about is Benghazi and the IRS and how Obama needs to be impeached. These are mostly people who get their news from Fox News, of course, and I don't expect them to be fair to the President. What concerns me is how this is playing with the fence sitters. I hear loud shouts from the right, but nothing but defensive reaction from our side. When I try to look at this from the point of view of an "undecided voter", I see a White House playing defense, which is uninspiring.

    •  I don't see them as actual scandals either (4+ / 0-)

      Unless the IRS probe was done by President Obama I just don't see it affecting him.

      The media will focus on it for a few days to a few weeks but will move on when something else comes up as it always does.

      I live in California and nobody is talking about impeaching Obama.  Rather they are talking about Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohann.

      President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

      by Drdemocrat on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:04:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ask your co-workers to find Benghazi on a map. (5+ / 0-)

      According to a PPP poll, 6% thought it was a city in Cuba.

      •  No joke, I bet less than 10% of my coworkers could (5+ / 0-)

        I actually had an argument with one of them a while back who utterly refused to believe that there is a country called Georgia as well as a US State. When I showed him on the world map that hangs in our office, he told me that it must be wrong.

        •  I work with a staff of about 100 people. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies, Amber6541

          Half are college graduates, and I bet not one could tell you about the congressional hearings on Benghazi or what it is about.
          That is one of the big problems in America today. people know more about Lindsay Lohan, than they know about  their own congressperson.

          If one standardized test is good, a gazillion must be even better. -Pearson Sales Rep.

          by Desert Rose on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:38:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As I recall one Republican U.S. Senator, (0+ / 0-)

          who happened to be running for President at the time also had a problem with Georgia.

          "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

          by gritsngumbo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:21:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oddly a conservative co-worker of mine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender, wintergreen8694, Amber6541

      didn't think the I.R.S. did anything wrong. Granted he is a low information voter type, and our perspective is different since querying databases is part of our job, but I was surprised at his reaction. He thought the Tea Party groups were whiny babes.

      I have been thinking about what SQL query I would have made if tasked with investigating new 501(c)4s. I definitely would have looked where type equals 501(c)4, the date is since 2009 and something in the name that sounds political. I am not sure I would have come up with 'tea' or 'taxes' but anything with 'party' in it would be a good beginning. Maybe even 'for a better'....

      If you were tasked with finding 501(c)4 that were abusing their tax free status, what would you look for?

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:53:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I try to remember, listening (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, tb mare

      to average folks blow hot air is that the noise is coming from people who are racists.  They may not be wearing white hoods but they are freaked that there's a black guy in the White House who is the exact opposite of the racial stereotypes they need to hold onto in order to maintain white privilege.  It's pretty simple stuff.  Most of our pundits, the entire Republican Party, that dratted MSM, and every fool who buys the "takers" myth are reacting from fear of losing the top rungs of the ladder because they're just not all that talented, smart, savvy, or even marginally competent.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:42:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should be concerned (0+ / 0-)

      This stuff is just the opening shots in the war on getting any Democrat elected in 2016. Expect Repub scandal mongering 24/7 for the next 3 years. After all the ones in Congress aren't busy doing anything so they have plenty of time and taxpayer money to waste on hysterical hearings and investigations.

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:33:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This administration continues to do a poor job (8+ / 0-)

    when it comes to potential scandals.  Though much is bullshit, the thing is that much is driven by media.  They are sitting in an isolation chamber while this shit is being stirred to the hilt.  Will it mean anything next year?  Who knows!!!  But Obama will get NOTHING done if he can not win congress to the democratic side.  He will leave as a mediocre president, for now.  Lastly, while the DoJ is busy listening to reporters, why is it they did not have the stomach or fortitude to go after the banksters that not only destroyed this economy but ran off with billions to Cayman Islands!!  Let's be frank, we all know they are hiding their money, yet this administration was too scared to go after them.  Again, in the end, no one is scared of Barack Obama, and see what it has gotten him.  Not much.

    •  Perhaps the reason they're so bad at dealing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dartagnan, Amber6541

      with scandals is that they've had so few of them. At least the kinds of scandals the media likes.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why should they respond? It won't change (0+ / 0-)

      anything.  They were on Benghazi pretty damn fast, they investigated, they said what needed to change.  Why keep panicking when your opposition is fucking nuts?  Let them keep spouting BS  and keep taking care of business.  The fact of security budget cuts will no doubt be mentioned as we get closer to 2014, not to mention some stats on what the House is spending on nontroversies while NOT creating Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

      Let's not join the ranks of the politically inept.  Remember how voting for gun control was gonna KILL Dems in 2014?  We overreact just like the media/Heritage/Luntz want us to.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:52:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You want a scandal? How about THIS? (8+ / 0-)

    The Obama administration is delaying the extension of Plan B to girls under the age of 17--EVEN THOUGH a judge ruled that the previous ban was driven by partisan politics.

    For THIS we worked?  To have a POTUS who governs according to the Rethug rulebook?  Thanks, Mr. President--not!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:04:20 AM PDT

  •  Bernstein hits the nail on the head (18+ / 0-)
    Want a real Washington scandal — one worse than the (phony) Benghazi scandal and the (apparently real, but apparently limited) IRS scandals combined? Try the continuing, and possibly accelerating, obstruction of executive branch nominees by Senate Republicans

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:05:03 AM PDT

    •  But somebody has to make it into a scandal. (8+ / 0-)

      This White House won't.

      Harry Reid and senate Dems certainly won't.

      House Dems won't.

      And, aside from on columnist, the press won't without being prodded mercilessly.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:11:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why should somebody have to make it (4+ / 0-)

        (whatever "it" is) into a scandal?  To divert attention from what congress really ought to be doing to solve some of the serious problems facing the country?  The congress can't do anything to solve the country's problems because the House Republicans are too busy manufacturing scandals and the Senate Republicans are using the filibuster as a cudgel and placing holds on most every nominee to head a federal agency.

        Bernstein is right - if there are scandals afoot, they originate in congress.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:47:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Somebody needs to have a talk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      With his old buddy Woodward. What a jerk.

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:29:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Current White House staff is struggling. (3+ / 0-)

    I wish so many experienced people didn't bug out after the election.

    Is working 8 years in the same place too big a hardship for these people?

    Hell, Axelrod was finally starting to learn how to do his job when he quit.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:06:20 AM PDT

    •  This isn't the "West Wing", you know. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, tb mare

      The way things work these days in Washington, being on the President's staff is just a stepping stone to high-paying private sector, fund-sucking think tank jobs. For many people.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:13:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A close friend who did have a fairly high up (5+ / 0-)

      appointed position found it meant the sacrifice of one's personal life to serve, and after a year and a half was no longer willing to do that.  The position required very long days, including weekends.  The demands of the job made trips home almost impossible. Due to an ongoing crisis in the department only one week was taken off in a entire year.  

      •  I've had jobs like that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe, Amber6541

        I guess it's a recruiting problem.

        These people should be told this is important stuff and they may be sleeping in their offices from time to time.

        Used to hate when I had assistants whine about working weekends when I warned them during the interviews that would be expected.

        "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

        by Bush Bites on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:53:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think this is a rather shallow view. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Egalitare, Amber6541

          First of all, if you take a high up appointment in administration, you damn well know what important stuff you will be working on.  How insulting to suggest otherwise.

          Secondly, the impacts on one's personal life are not always evident until they happen.  If you are responsible for the care or support of other people (young children, aging parents), changes in their situation may occur as well.

          To suggest that someone who takes a leave from a top job with a cut in pay, moves across the country to live in a rented room, works to the point of endangering his/her health, never has time off, etc. is a whiner who should sacrifice health and family well being for the benefit of the rest of us is ridiculous.

  •  Out of the three, only the AP story seems to me (10+ / 0-)

    troubling.

    I'm in full disagreement with everyone here about the IRS. They were doing due diligence on anti-tax nuts. Perfectly justifiable.

    Benghazi is such a joke I can't even bother to discuss. In fact, I haven't.

    But the AP story it seems to me pretty significant. The justice department secretly obtaining phone records for any reason that isn't directly part of an imminent threat investigation is pretty awful. The should have to publicly get a court order for that, especially when it comes to the press. And the fact that it simply involved a crackdown on leaks is way out of line. I have no problem cracking down on leakers. But the leakee is not the problem. Especially when its the press.

    •  I thought they did go to court for that. (0+ / 0-)

      President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

      by Drdemocrat on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:25:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree somewhat.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      The DoJ better have a damm good reason for going after reporters.  This other stuff is not troubling to me.  Even though Morning Joke tried his best this morning to link Obama to the IRS supposedly scandal that is TALL TEA to do.  The president's only obligation is to nominate the head of the IRS, after that nothing else because it is an independent organization.  To be truthful, they better have a real good detailed explanation on their probe, but this is a scandal that will be gone by next week.  Benghazi, well that is a shit storm that no one is paying attention to, which the GOP is finally figuring out.  But the AP probe, the DoJ better have a damn good reason for spying.  This obtaining phone records should put everyone on this site in the pause mode.  If that is not a privacy issue, I don't know what is.  But this WH has not been a supporter of leakers, they have done everything to shut them down.  And in my view, this is a huge over reach which can come back to haunt them.

      •  Its the press. That's a no no. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare

        Even if the President did order the IRS directly to investigate the shit out of the Tea Party I don't have a problem with that. That's just using the muscle. Its your job to use the muscle against your political enemies and be tough about it.

        But putting the law enforcement power to work on the press...that's too much.

        •  It would be too much if we (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brooklynbadboy

          had a press to push around.  It's funny that mostly we know they're paid shills selling the Oligarchs agenda until they're suddenly The Press.  

          I'll get freaked out when Mother Jones or Rolling Stone or Jon Stewart get slapped around.  AP?  Meh.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:59:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Some future GOP Administration... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brooklynbadboy, MKSinSA

          ...will "discover" that certain members of the 4th Estate have been conducting "covert intel for hire" for years, the rest of the press corp will cower in the face of the accusation and fault this Administration for not investigating when it held a window of opportunity.

          It will be as contrived as Niger yellow cake, but when has that ever stopped hysteria in its tracks?

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:26:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This not good news for Eric Holder. /eom (0+ / 0-)

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:39:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree that's it is somewhat troubling BBB (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD

      However this potentialy involves a national security breach. Someone, possibly from the CIA leaked sensitive info to the press. This may have undermined ongoing undercover ops and exposed tactics used by the intelligence agencies. The breadth of the request was probably due to the DOJ's being overzealous but it could simply mean they had no clue who the leaker was, so they cast a huge net in hopes of nailing whoever it was.

      As for publicly announcing the subpoena, that would have destroyed any any chance of getting the culprit.

      One last thing, notice how tight lipped they are about this. Unlike OMGhazi!, Carney referred all questions to the DOJ and refused to address it.

    •  Hear, hear (0+ / 0-)

      there is only one topic of importance at hand.  And even the AP story is probably not all that big a deal.  But it is serious because its the justice dept.  If it was the parks dept, it would be almost a joke.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:06:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dickerson -- clear and concise and right. (0+ / 0-)

    Somebody had to do it.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:19:07 AM PDT

  •  None of this is going to end well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Egalitare

    The three shiny objects will be an endless loop of Republicans on the news pretending that they are getting shit done - even though the shit will be hearings and outrage and not anything that will move this country in the right direction. Meanwhile the important things will be left undone, our economy will remain stagnant and Republicans will win big in 2014. It's exhausting & frustrating to watch.
    In fact I am reminded of little boy I was babysitting once who was watching some men try to push a refrigerator on a dolly up some storm cellar stairs - he knew they needed to flip the dolly around and pull, not push, but they wouldn't listen to him. I remember him dancing around and waving his arms in frustration - I know he was thinking "hey dumbasses" even though he was only 6.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:24:27 AM PDT

    •  Only possible victory immigration reform. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow

      They'll keep slow walking the prez on the budget, so I didn't expect any economic action, even if these scandals didn't appear.

      The WH and Dems in Congress will have to play hard ball to get a decent immigration package through, and I just don't think they have the instinct for that.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:28:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I heard righties saying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow, Egalitare

      that the two new scandals, IRS and AP, are just distractions from Benghazi, which must be huge if "they" would "give us" these other two like this.  

      Then a paranoid called in thinking all three are distractions from Fast and Furious.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:10:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bernstein is wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Threatening to change the rules is not the only recourse -- that is, not for a party that understands and is able to connect with the electorate.

    If the candidates are good, they need to be introduced to the American people.
    Over and over again.
    Every candidate.
    Every time.

    We need to know who is being nominated and who is being voted down.

    We need a narrative for 2014.

    "These great people were ready to serve you, to fill jobs that needed filling.  These people, on the other hand, stood in the way.  Stood in YOUR way.  Kept you from the government services you paid for. Kept you from the services you deserve."

    With FDR it was bills. With Obama, it's Bills and Betties.
    FDR engineered a Democratic dynasty that lasted until they faced The Man Who Beat Hitler.

    The Republicans are dancing a dangerous dance, but only if the administration is prepared to knock the legs out from under them.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:28:43 AM PDT

  •  Republican have shutdown the government (0+ / 0-)

    with the help of the MSM.

  •  Holder presser at 11AM. If he doesn't plan on (0+ / 0-)

    resigning then he should just skip it.

    •  Liberals and maybe a few Libertarians.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      .....get up in arms about the WH cracking down on the press, but most regular people hate the press anyway.

      Frankly, I think this is the least of their worries.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:49:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  cry me freaking river. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites

    "President Barack Obama learned on Monday what can happen to presidents caught up in allegations of scandal: they have to address them instead of anything else."

    Um...yeah!

    Is this the narrative now? Poor Mr. President has to address government corruption?

    What a sad soap opera this WWE-style Washington theater has become when "journalists" poo-poo corruption this way.

    •  What corruption? (0+ / 0-)

      Benghazi?  IRS?  DOJ?  You think there is evidence of corruption and the press is "poo-pooing" it?  Who - or what - is supposed to be corrupt in these instances?

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:01:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Timothy Leary wondered about the timing of scandal (0+ / 0-)

    He said that the scandal hearings always seem to occur in the summer when the networks have nothing else to put on TV.

    That was certainly true for the Watergate hearings.

  •  The Buck Stops Here (0+ / 0-)

    Cheez -- in a rare moment of clarity, I had two realizations:

    1. We have a lame-duck President
    2. The IRS commissioner when the shenanigans were shenaniganing is gone, his term expired
    3. Impeachment is not something Americans like

    So, WRT to IRS

    President who can't be re-elected and can't be defeated says, "I don't care who tapped the keys, I am President of the United States and Responsibility is ultimately mine.  We will get to the bottom of this and I can tell you with absolute certainty: Any wrongdoers we find will not continue to be part of my administration.

    Looks bold, ethical, outraged.  No consequences.  If Republicans dare to impeach, they will never get it past the Senate, Republicans are destroyed completely in 2014.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:02:14 AM PDT

  •  Bernstein (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red rabbit
                                    Now that’s a scandal.
    And you wouldn't know it from Obama and the Congressional Dems.  The Repubs can be outraged and get all kinds of attention for pseudo-scandals, but the President and Congressional Dems show no such rage over real scandals perpetrated by the Repubs.  How is anyone surprised that the real scandals get so little attention?

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:15:00 AM PDT

    •  yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      accumbens

      the judicial branch is in a serious crisis, followed by the severe staffing shortfall in various executive branch departments, and neither Obama nor the Dem leadership really seem to give a damn, unless you count Reid sternly worded tweets.
      Senate tradition and etiquette uber alles.  

    •  Republicans in congress not doing their jobs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      is not nearly as sensational as what they can flog into "scandals."

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:05:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd bet anything that if the situation was (0+ / 0-)

        reversed, the Repubs would be all over it and the media would be too.  Obama and the Dems are the most passive politicians ever.  Simply pathetic.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:12:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All of these scandals (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red rabbit, Amber6541

    are a diversion for not passing ANYTHING to benefit us regular folks.  These politicians, both republicans and democrats too can rot.

  •  Hyper-partisan, blustering witch hunters (0+ / 0-)

    Nice turn of phrase by Hoarsey!

    Milbank is still an idiot.

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:58:45 AM PDT

  •  by embracing the bush doctrine (0+ / 0-)

    of crucifying whistlewblowers and secrecy and
    national security and war,

    it's no surprise people felt emboldened to go spearfishing in the AP.

  •  People are becoming scandal fatigued (0+ / 0-)

    I think most people are becoming sick and tired of the unrelenting scandal-this and scandal-that, at least in my small microcosm it's that way. I work in an office with a ton of conservatives and when Benghazi first came to light that's all they talked about.  Now they don't even mention it.  If they are tired of it then I imagine the average citizen is sick to death of it.  These same folks weren't even aware of the IRS scandal when I brought it up and they don't seem to care.  Basically their responses were 'I don't follow politics anymore.  It's just a bunch of finger pointing and nothing getting done.".  You can only take so much negativity even if it's directed against someone you don't like.   Eventually you have to tune the whiners out in order to keep sane.

  •  Found out on Friday, FBI investigaton Tuesday (0+ / 0-)

    Doesn't seem like dragging feet.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Tue May 14, 2013 at 12:27:07 PM PDT

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